The effect of building collapse on Nigeria economy has taken a toll on both live and property of the citizens. Aside the trauma, the devastating effects on property is better imagined than beheld.
Speaking on the menace of building collapse in the country, the Standard Ogranisation of Nigeria (SON), said about 3,210 persons were killed and property worth N4.5 billion destroyed in 245 incidents of building collapse in Nigeria from 2007 to 2017.
At a public sensitization forum on building collapse for North Central held in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Head of Construction Management Department, SON, Engineer Paul Oke, warned Nigerians to be vigilant to know when their buildings are showing signs of defects.
Recently, about 37 people were rescued alive while eight were recovered dead in building housing school children that collapsed in Lagos Island going by the statement of Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said in a statement.
In chaotic scenes, panicked parents, local residents and shocked onlookers rushed to the area as police, firemen and medics staged a massive rescue operation. A young man helping rescue efforts who gave his name only as Derin said “at least 10 children” were trapped inside but “thought to be alive”.
Oke said: “From 2007 and 2017, two hundred and forty-five buildings collapsed. It led to the death of 3,210 persons due to the substandard materials used in building houses across the nation.” Oke suggested jail or death sentence for owners of collapsed building and consultants to serve as deterrent to others.
SON Director-General Osita Abaloma, represented by Charles Owabara, said: “Over 175 buildings collapsed from 1971 to 2016, the cause of persistent of building collapse was due to the structural failures (24.9 per cent), substandard materials (13.2 per cent ) and poor workmanship (12.2 per cent), faulty design (8.8 per cent) use of quacks (7.3 per cent) and inappropriate foundation (6.8 per cent) respectively.”
He said building collapse would be substantially reduce if the relevant government agencies engage the services of highly experienced civil engineers from the private sectors.